City of Ottawa, Illinois

Allow a small trickle of water from both your cold and hot water faucets to run to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe. Customers should also consider a wise water use practice and collect the running water for later use.

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape”, “heat cable” or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

If you will be going away during the cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

IF PIPES FREEZE, CUSTOMERS SHOULD:

Make sure everyone in their home knows where the main shut-off valve is and how to turn it off and on. If a pipe freezes or bursts, the water should be shut off immediately. Don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints that will leak when thawed.

Apply heat to frozen pipe by warming the air around it or applying heat directly to the pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Be sure to not leave space heaters unattended and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.

Once pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.

The City would prefer to make adjustments for running water to prevent frozen lines than to have customers inconvenienced with frozen/broken water lines, which could prove to be very costly.